The Lieubeau family history dates back to 1816 when Joseph Grégoire was left abandoned under the porch of the Hôtel Dieu in Nantes. Those who took him in gave him the name “Lieu-Beau,” meaning “beautiful place,” in recognition of where he was discovered. Now a family of winemakers, his name lives on, with Pierre and Chantal Lieubeau working alongside their children Marie, François and Vincent.
Situated at the confluence of the Sèvre Nantaise and the Maine, in the west of the Loire Valley, the estate comprises 65 hectares, split between the schist slopes facing St Fiacre and the granite and gneiss of Chateau-Thébaud. Planted mainly with Melon de Bourgogne (the Muscadet grape, for this is Muscadet country), the vineyard has also increased plantings of other varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Folle Blanche. About three quarters of the vineyard is now organic certified.
The purity and complexity of this estate’s wines make them intensely satisfying – qualities maintained by a program of investment both in the vineyard (including a battery of frost protection tools) and in the winery. Vines are grassed through to better regulate humidity. Trellising, crop thinning and de-leafing are managed in such a way to ensure exposure to the sun and wind, keeping the grapes healthier, and at the same time greatly improving the ripeness of the harvest. Fermentations are made at controlled temperatures in inerted steel or glass-lined underground vats, with styles carefully chosen depending on the terroir and varietal.